On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman analyzes the Carl Frampton vs. Leo Santa Cruz, Mikey Garcia vs. Elio Rojas, and Adonis Stevenson vs. Thomas Williams Jr. fights from this past weekend, and previews fights involving Andre Ward and Terrell Gausha.
This past Saturday, July 30, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and shown live in the U.S. on Showtime, Carl Frampton (23-0, 14 KOs) captured the WBA featherweight belt with a majority decision over Leo Santa Cruz (32-1-1, 18 KOs). This battle was a fight of the year candidate, with the smaller Frampton also earning mention as a fighter of the year candidate by defeating two previously unbeaten fighters this year, Santa Cruz and Scott Quigg.
The co-feature saw the return of Mikey Garcia (35-0, 29 KOs), who stopped the veteran Elio Rojas (24-3, 14 KOs) in the fifth round of a 140-pound bout. Garcia was returning after a two-and-a-half year layoff because of a legal dispute with his previous promoter, Top Rank, which finally ended in his victory. With this win, Garcia said after the fight that he wants to fight at welterweight for now, as we await his decision on his plans. Rojas was also coming off a layoff after a contract dispute with his former promoter, Don King.
On Friday night, the WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson (28-1, 23 KOs) scored a fourth-round knockout victory over Thomas Williams Jr. (20-2, 14 KOs) in an old school and crowd-pleasing brawl. This was the main event of a Premier Boxing Champions (PBC) show on Spike TV in the U.S., and took place at the Centre Videotron in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. We also discuss some of the shortcomings of this telecast, and why the business of boxing should see itself as a TV product first.
On August 27, the 2012 U.S. Olympian Terrell Gausha (18-0, 9 KOs) will continue to try to rise to the top of the 154-pound division, as he takes on Steve Martinez (16-2, 13 KOs) at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. This fight will be part of a card shown on Spike TV in the U.S. Our colleague Chris Baldwin spoke with Terrell Gausha at a recent media event and got some brief comments from him.
Yet another fighter in the process of returning from a layoff caused by a contract dispute with his promoter is 2004 Olympic gold medalist Andre Ward (29-0, 15 KOs). He will face 39-year-old Alexander Brand (25-1, 19 KOs) of Colombia on August 6 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, and shown live in the U.S. on HBO, in what is expected to be his last tune-up fight before facing light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev in the fall. We spoke with Andre Ward on a recent media conference call.
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